FAQ Sling thread

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Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852
FAQ Sling thread

Someone suggested a post about slings we can have a FAQ. Ask and answer your questions here! We can even have a review on what slings are our fave or our least fave.

Joined: 12/16/05
Posts: 1

OK. I'll jump on board with this one.

I LOVE my New Native right now, as he's very little, and still can't hold his head up. He's going on 11 lbs, though, and getting a bit heavy. I'm sure I can do this for a bit longer, but will want something different (ie two shouldered) for when he's bigger. Any recommendations?

I've been looking at Mei Tai's, but they look kind of complicated. Also looking at the ones that are just one long piece of cloth ( I have no clue what they're called) but they look complicated, too.

Any suggestions?

Joined: 04/20/05
Posts: 323

"youngnewmommy" wrote:

OK. I'll jump on board with this one.

I LOVE my New Native right now, as he's very little, and still can't hold his head up. He's going on 11 lbs, though, and getting a bit heavy. I'm sure I can do this for a bit longer, but will want something different (ie two shouldered) for when he's bigger. Any recommendations?

I've been looking at Mei Tai's, but they look kind of complicated. Also looking at the ones that are just one long piece of cloth ( I have no clue what they're called) but they look complicated, too.

Any suggestions?

sounds like me. Ialso love my new native, but was looking into something else as she's getting bigger (not yet too heavy at almost 15 lbs) but it's getting harder to wear her for extended periods of time.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

There are a few different ways you can go for a two-shouldered carry. (Someone chime in if I forget any.) For specific brands you may wish to consult reviews/forums at thebabywearer.com.

There are the "Asian back carriers" - mei tai (can be worn front or back), onbuhimo (best on the back), podaegi/podegi. These are a square of pretty fabric with 4 straps (mei tai) or 2 straps (onbu and podaegi) that you tie. They can be folded up pretty small into a diaper bag. Mei tais are the easiest to learn of the "ABCs" IMHO and the most common. There are many people who make & sell them.

There are "soft structured carriers" - the brands I know of are Ergo, Patapum, Sutemi, and bEco. These have buckles (instead of long straps to tie that can drag on the ground), more padding than a mei tai, and look more mainstream. They are way more streamlined than a frame backpack like a big Kelty (and more washable), but because of the padded waist they don't pack down *as* small as a mei tai when not worn. The baby will ride lower on you than in a mei tai and will have to look around you rather than over your shoulder. The bEco offers pretty fabric but the others just have a small number of colors to choose from. I think these tend to be designed for one mode of carry (i.e. front or back) that they are best at, and "can be" used in another (i.e. back or front.. or maybe hip too) that another carrier might be slightly superior in, so think about which way you would plan to use it.

There are "wraps" - a long piece of fabric. They come in two flavors, "stretchy" and "woven". A stretchy wrap is nice for little babies that you wear in front. A woven one needs a bit of give along the diagonal to be comfortable but shouldn't stretch like T-shirt fabric does... for a heavy toddler or for rucksack carries a woven one is my preference. There are a lot of ways to tie a wrap, which is a bit intimidating, but you can get a TON of mileage from knowing even just one way, which only takes about a week of practice for a klutz like me. For a front carry you can tie the wrap without the baby in it and "pop" the baby in and out as you go in and out of stores running errands. A long wrap usually does not pack up as small as a mei tai (if it is a flat gauze like Gypsy Mama brand, it does pack quite small.)

I would say pick whichever of these categories appeals best to you and the way you like to look, unless you have special requirements for yourself (like back trouble) or your child (like a leg cast). I've used carriers in each category to carry up to a 3yo and (*if* well-made) these types are all good, y'know? Read reviews or ask here or at TBW before buying. Wink

If you plan to sew your own carrier, wraps are super easy to make (the only trick is finding the right kinds of fabric) Wink and mei tais are more work but there are several sites with directions. There are a few people who've made their own Ergo-style carrier as well (beyond me I'm afraid!)

FreelanceMama's picture
Joined: 12/08/02
Posts: 140

Well, I'm looking for versatility. I need to balance being fully available for DS with being able to nurse a newborn (and of course older baby too). However, I really can't afford to buy more than one sling looking for just the right one (which is confusing to begin with because of all the choices)!What kind of sling should I look for - and what is/are the best brand(s)?

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

For verstality I would either go with a wrap or ring sling. Once you get the hang of the wrap its quick to use. Its good for both toddler and newborn. Ring sling is good for nursing all ages.

FreelanceMama's picture
Joined: 12/08/02
Posts: 140

What about pouches? Are they pretty versatile? Not sure if DH will be wearing baby so I'm also looking for something with very little learning curve - pouches seem to fit that bill.

How are they for nursing? Do you have to have a nursing top or can you just pull your shirt up like you normally would? Is that uncomfortable? Also is it better to have a padded sling for hands-free nursing, or does the pouch work OK for that? (It just seems like it is kinda hard to find padded slings that are not *too* padded, KWIM?)

Oh and last thing - someone said pouches are hard to get the sizing right, but the websites I've visited seem like size medium would fit me OK (I'm 5'4" and non-preg about 140lbs). Sound about right?

Joined: 04/20/05
Posts: 323

I nurse in my pouch (a new native) and it works well. I get plenty of privacy. I don't wear nursing tops at all so I just lift up my shirt. You can see a little skin so if you wear a nursing cami you wouldn't have to worry about it. I did have to exchange mine for a smaller size once I lost the pregnancy weight. Luckily they will let you exchange it at ANY time as long as it is in good condition (no stains, rpis, etc). I exchanged mine when she was about 4 months old. I would say a medium might be alright depending on how high you like to carry your baby, you may want to go with a small. I am 5'2" and about 120 and sometimes the small seems to big. Overall, I love mine. Now that she is getting bigger and squirmier, I think I need something that holds her a liitle closer with not so much wiggle room. Hope this helps.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

The best way to get the pouch size right is to measure yourself from shoulder to hip. Measure the outside of your shoulder down through your boobs to your hip bone. With just a little slack. The new natives are usually sized big, so I would go down a size if you are considering one of those. I'll be nursing a newborn for the first time in a pouch (if he ever gets here!), so I'll let you know how it goes. Hopefully I'll be getting pics up on my site.

Also if you want a lightly padded ring sling, there is one called Ellaroo lightly padded (ERLP), it has very light padding and many people seem to like it. HTH! Biggrin

Chimmy's picture
Joined: 08/03/01
Posts: 2776

I actually found my wrap not only to be more comfy but easier to use than even my ring sling ~ once you know how to wrap it on your body it's an awsome way to wear a baby.

I bought a water wrap from gypsy mama, it's awsome AND it's a solarviel material said to be better than the solarviel wraps/slings, the other nice thing is that the fabric is nice and silky soft.

There's a CD you can get from mamatoto.com that is really great at helping you see how to carry your baby w/ all the different slings/wraps/shawls/mei tei's that are out there, well worth the money imo Smile

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Combining sling posts:

"holly22" wrote:

All About Slings

Pouches:

Small tube like fabric, goes over one shoulder and baby sits in the “pouch” part. Usually not adjustable, there are some that are adjustable: www.mammasmilk.com. Very easy and quick to use, takes up hardly any space in your purse, diaper bag, etc. Great for newborns on up. Cons are getting the sizing right, it is hard to get the sizing right at first, but when you do, it’s so easy!

www.hotslings.com
www.goo-ga.com
www.lanepieslings.com
www.theslingset.com
http://www.kangarookorner.com/ -another adjustable pouch

Ring Slings:

Long piece of fabric adjustable w/ either nylon or aluminum rings. It goes over one shoulder. There is a little learning curve for these, to get them adjusted right and tight enough and through the rings correctly. A lot like the pouch, but it has the extra fabric and rings. Good for newborns on up. Cons are getting it adjusted right. Lots of pretty fabrics to choose from.

www.zolowear.com – has great info on how to wear your sling and what you could be doing wrong.
www.chickenscratchslings.com
www.sleepingbaby.net
www.mayawrap.com

Mei Tai:

This is a structured carrier, with two long top straps, a body and 2 short bottom straps. These are worn on the front or back. There are lots of variations in body size, angle of straps, etc, but they are all pretty much the same. There is a bit of a learning curve, but pretty easy to do once you put it on once or twice. Can be used with newborns, but usually recommend 2 months on up.

www.kozycarrier.homestead.com – has great pics on how to wear the MT
www.babyhawk.com
http://napsack.laurence.com/index.html
http://www.ergobabycarrier.com/ - structured mei tai with buckles.

Wrap:

These are long pieces of fabric, can be made from just about any fabric. These have a high learning curve. Depending on the size can be used one shoulder, two shouldered, front or back. These are wonderfully comfortable for newborns on up to large toddlers. There are wraps made with specially woven fabric in Germany and other countries that are very comfortable and are top of the line.

http://www.didymos.de/english/index_e.htm
http://www.storchenwiege.com/
http://www.gypsymama.com/ - lightweight summer wraps and water wraps
http://www.mamatoto.org/default.aspx?tabid=121 – wrapping instructions
http://www.peppermint.com/girasolcarry.htm -more instructions
http://www.mobywrap.com/

Mainstream “store bought” carriers:

I’m not going to really touch on these, there are lots out there, but most are not comfortable or easy to adjust. The Bjorn and snuggly can be okay for newborns, but are only good until baby reaches 15 lbs or less. They are also not good for the babies’ hip and spine development, as they are basically dangling from the crotch. Also they are not very comfortable for the wearer when the baby hits 10-15 lbs. The Mei Tai is a much better option, as it supports the baby both horizontally and vertically, and has a wide seat at the bottom, which is good for hip and spine development. The heavily padded ring slings such as over-the-shoulder-baby-holder and nojo, are very hard to adjust and get tight enough IMO. They are big and bulky and don’t fit easily in a diaper bag. Backpack carriers are hard to use and can sometimes throw the wearer off balance, as baby is not attached to you. The new native is a mainstream pouch that hasn’t gotten good reviews. It is said that it is hard to get the size right and the baby hangs way too low. With saying all this, there are some parents that swear by these carriers and love them, you may too, its just that the non-mainstream carriers have much better reviews and are better for baby and the wearer.

Here are some great sites that sell all kinds of carriers:
www.attachedtobaby.com
http://store.peppermint.com/index.html
http://www.naturalfamilyboutique.com/


Here are some wonderful sites that tell all about baby carriers, different types of carriers, reviews and much, much more:

www.thebabywearer.com
http://www.mammasmilk.com/slings/

Great DVD on how to wear all the types of baby carriers listed above:
www.tummy2tummy.com

Great site on how to make your own carriers:

http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/index.html

Babywearing is great for you because:

• You can cook dinner during the "colic crying time" and soothe your
baby at the same time.
• Do the gardening, chores, socialize, even dance, while providing a
stimulating learning environment for your baby.
• Breastfeed hands-free while on the phone or shopping.
• Keep your baby close and happy while playing with your toddler.
• Get some exercise (walking) while your baby sleeps.
• No need to lug around an awkward, heavy car seat, or battle getting
a stroller into your car, onto a bus or up stairs.
• Good for baby’s physical development.
• Reduces infant crying.
• Reduces or doesn’t create “flat head” in infants.

Please always be careful when wearing your baby. Check the seams of your slings for wear and tear. If baby is looks “smooshed” in the carrier and is not complaining, then he probably likes it! Babies are used to being smooshed in the womb. I have personally tried all of the type of carriers listed above, even a Bjorn and over-the-shoulder-baby-holder! I love wearing my baby and still wear my 2 yr old.

mariolatry's picture
Joined: 11/09/04
Posts: 2

I'm looking into a new sling for a newborn as my DD will be 22 months when the new baby comes. I have a Peanut Shell, which I like but I'm looking for something to hold the baby more securely upright. Right now it looks like Moby Wrap vs. Hug-a-Bub. Does anyone have any experience with either of these? They're both so expensive, I'd like to buy one that I know I'll use.

Joined: 10/09/04
Posts: 74

My DD absolutely lived in her Hug-a-Bub for the first 5 months. We always did an upright carry - though you can do a cradle when they're tiny which we did once or twice, but she had reflux so upright was far better for her. I absolutely loved it. My DH used it as well. It's really versatile. I got an instruction video with mine which was really good to illustrate how to use it. I can certainly recommend it with no reservations. If you have any other specific questions, or if you get one and have any trouble with it, feel free to PM me.

Joined: 10/29/01
Posts: 1

i just bought (and then sold!) my Moby Wrap. i actually really loved the feel of it, but ds (2.5 mo and almost 18lbs!) is just too heavy and sagged after a few minutes no matter how tight i got it! i considered trading it in for a MobyD but decided that for ease of use and portability, a mei tai is more for me! HTH!

cmljll's picture
Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 1409

I wrote this as a response on another board but thought it might be helpful here too!

I did a lot of research on carriers while I was pregnant and decided on a Moby Wrap. When I did my research, I looked specifically at which carriers were a good fit for plus-sized women and this is the one that most plus-sized women recommended. I've LOVED it!!! At first I was a bit intimidated with the whole wrapping concept but it wasn't nearly as complicated as I thought it would be. And once you learn the basic wrap, there are many different front carries you can do in it, according to the age of your baby. There's a back carry, but I think it's only when you have someone else to help wrap - I've never used it. Then there's one more wrap you can do to help carry your toddler on your hip.

Pros -
1. Very comfy! I could wear Ethan for very long periods of time with the basic carries. The weight is distributed over both your shoulders unlike a sling. Even in a hip carry wrap which in 1 shoulder, I can carry him for a long time without getting the least bit sore.
2. Ethan LOVES it! DH started wearing him when he was only a few days old and he still likes being in it at 19 months
3. One size fits all! It fit me with no problem (I'm a size 26), and even my friend who's bigger than me had no problems with it. The same size fit DH and me, unlike some of the others I was looking at that were "sized."
4. It's easily portable! I keep one in the car and it takes up very little space. I still bring it to Walmart and stick it in the cart. Ethan starts off in the child seat but if he gets fussy he calms down quickly in the Moby.
5. Machine wash and dry! Need I say more
6. It fits preemies through toddlers comfortably.
7. It's available in a LOT of colors!

Cons -
The only one I can think of is that you have to rewrap it every time you take the baby out. But it only takes about 30 seconds to wrap.

Another carrier that came highly recommended to me is the Ergo. That wasn't an option for me though because my waist is too big. The maximum waist size for it is on their website. It's also more expensive than the Moby Wrap. Someone said there is a waist extension available for it so that's worth checking out if need be. I think I'd still prefer my Moby though!

If you have any questions about the Moby, I'd be happy to help! I'm even willing to do a short video for you on how to wrap it so you can see if you'd be comfortable doing it.